Improving big box retail ventilation and indoor air quality is the goal of a new project awarded by ASHRAE and funded by a $1.5 million dollar grant from the National Institute of Science and Engineering (NIST).
There is little published information about the air quality and ventilation rates in retail spaces, because requirements have been largely based on data for commercial office buildings.
This three-year project, Ventilation and Indoor Air quality in Retail Stores, was awarded to principal investigator Dr. Jeffrey Siegel at the University of Texas at Austin and co-investigator Dr. Jelena Srebric at Penn State University
“We are working to develop a robust database of indoor air quality, ventilation, occupant surveys, and building measurements for the U.S. retail building stock,” says Siegel.
“This database will be used to determine the relationship between ventilation rate and indoor air quality and occupant satisfaction with a goal of recommending appropriate minimum ventilation rates for different categories and locations of retail establishments. This will help further the industry by improving the energy efficiency of ventilation systems in retail stores while maintaining air quality.”
Building measurements will take place in at least 16 buildings including supermarkets, restaurants, general merchandise, department, and hardware. Half of the buildings will be located in central Texas to test a hot and humid climate, and the other half in central Pennsylvania to test a cold, dry environment.
Ventilation and Indoor Air quality in Retail Stores is scheduled for completion in December, 2012.